Week 4:  April 18-24, 2006

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MBO's first Savannah Sparrow was this week's banding highlight. 
Photo by Marcel Gahbauer)-

MBO gratefully acknowledges the financial  support provided for the 2006 Spring Migration Monitoring Program by the James L. Baillie Memorial Fund of Bird Studies Canada






2006 TOTAL


# birds (and species) banded

79 (16)

165 (26)

308 (32)

5361 (94)

# birds (and species) repeat

6 (3)

21 (7)

112 (9)

998 (41)

# birds (and species) return

6 (5)

22 (6)

43 (10)

114 (15)

# species observed





# net hours





# birds banded / 100 net hours





Note: table does not include nocturnal banding (owls)

Banders-in-charge:  Marcel Gahbauer, Marie-Anne Hudson
Assistants:  Shawn Craik, Jean Demers, Cheryl Diamond, Christina Donehower, Barbara Frei, Gregor Gilbert, Gay Gruner, Bana Hamze, Irène Lepine, Barbara Macduff, Don Macduff, Francine Marcoux, Mike Mayerhofer, Betsy Mcfarlane, Lynn Miller, Chris Murphy, Bob Oligny, Julie Pépin, Limoilou Renaud, Katleen Robert, Clémence Soulard, Audrey Wachter, Guillaume Wachter

Notes:   Although no big waves of migrants have arrived yet, there continue to be almost daily signs of the season advancing.  Another 10 species made their first appearance of the year this week:  Common Loon, American Black Duck, Osprey, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Virginia Rail, Great Black-backed Gull, Barn Swallow, Chipping Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow, and House Finch.  Several of these are species that have been in the general area since the beginning of the spring season, but just haven't been spotted from MBO during that time.  The next big push of passerine migrants appears to have been stalled by a persistent high pressure system from the north that was present for most of the past week.  Another weaker system from the north is moving in for the start of next week, but after that we can expect to see a bigger influx of passerine migrants.

This week's banding highlight was our first ever Savannah Sparrow, caught in the ever-productive net A1.  The dominant birds of the week though were Red-winged Blackbirds and Ruby-crowned Kinglets, both caught in much larger numbers than last week.  We've also had a couple of Red-winged Blackbird returns, banded here last spring.  White-throated Sparrow and American Goldfinch numbers are beginning to increase, and will likely become much more abundant over the next couple of weeks, if last year's patterns hold true.

                                                          This week's top 10   [last week's rank in brackets]
# individuals banded mean # individuals observed daily
Red-winged Blackbird (18) [7] Canada Goose (898) [1]
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (15) [6] Ring-billed Gull (51) [2]
Slate-coloured Junco (9) [3] Red-winged Blackbird (46) [3]
Song Sparrow (7) [5] American Crow (35) [4]
White-throated Sparrow (6) [-] Slate-coloured Junco (24) [6]
American Goldfinch (4) [10] American Robin (22) [5]
American Robin (3) [2] Mallard (20) [8]
Fox Sparrow (3) [4] Song Sparrow (19) [7]
Swamp Sparrow (3) [-] Brown-headed Cowbird (13) [9]
Downy Woodpecker (3) [-] Northern Pintail (12) [-]

In terms of observations, there has been remarkably little change in the most abundant species between this week and last.  The daily flights of many hundreds of Canada Geese continue, large numbers of Ring-billed Gulls and American Crows are milling about daily (chiefly on the adjacent field), and there is still a strong migration underway for Red-winged Blackbirds, Slate-coloured Juncos, American Robins, and Brown-headed Cowbirds.  With one exception, the species listed above were among the 22 seen each day over the past week.  However, twice this week, large flocks of over 30 Northern Pintails were observed, along with smaller numbers on a couple of other days, vaulting them into this week's top ten.  Though not quite abundant enough to make the list above, Fox Sparrows have continued to be numerous throughout the week, with many of them in full song.  However, American Tree Sparrows appear to be on the verge of disappearing for the season, and the sighting of the Northern Shrike on the first day of the week appears to have been our last.

Interesting wildlife sightings continued this week, most notably this Shorttail Weasel moving
her young from one burrow to another near the banding station.  (Photo by Marie-Anne Hudson)




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